Tools of Scene Work

Created by Anna Porter

Students are introduced to scene work performance through a simple, contentless scene unit. In this unit, performers will use exercises like “Show and Tell” to learn how to fill in the gaps of a story by creating scenarios and detailed characters with backgrounds.

Students will further fill in the gaps by exploring environmental and physical conflict as well as stage business. The lesson “Thou Shalts of Staging” will guide students through basic staging and performance technique.

The overview lay outs pre-unit discussion questions and outlines the lessons and materials in this seven lesson unit as well as post-unit reflection questions.
1: Introduction
Have students create a situation from a picture and examine the given clues to help fill in the gaps. Next, have students examine the clues in a contentless scene, then fill in the gaps to create their own scenario to perform.
2: Show and Tell Characterization
Students will use “Show and Tell” to create a detailed background for their contentless scene character and improvise a personal interview with that character.
3: Thou Shalts of Staging and Performance
Students will participate in a demonstration to explore the rules of staging and performance and why they are important. They will perform a Bad Idea/Good Idea skit for the class, to demonstrate their understanding of the concept.
4: Environmental and Personal Conflict
Students will play a drama game and participate in an exercise to explore how conflict affects their active tactics. Students apply conflict to a scene for performance.
5: Stage Business
Students will participate in an observation activity and play “What Are You Doing?” to explore how stage business affects performance. In this lesson, you will coach students through a scene with stage business, then they will apply stage business to their own performances.
6: Contentless Scene - Preview Day
Students review what they have studied in this unit as well as how to give and use constructive feedback. Students will pair up with another scene group, then perform for each other. Students will use the Preview Worksheet to help guide and assess their previews and critiques.
7: Final Performance
Students will perform and be evaluated on the contentless scene that they have prepared during the unit.

Standards Addressed

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